pc: Corrine Turner Photography
I don’t have to tell YOU all of the differences between civilian couples and military couples. There have been countless studies, blogs, and news articles written on the subject. Many of them are total myths! Some of these differences are just plain CRAZY though!
Moving around a lot, dealing with deployments, and trying to find a new job every few years are aspects of our lives that many of us are already painfully aware of. Let’s take a look at some of the CRAZY (yet true) inner-workings of military marriage.
What aspects of Mil-Marriage do YOU think are CRAZY (but true!)? Go back to the post here and give your opinion!
1. The Military ALWAYS Comes First
They all raise their right hands and solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. They all sign their names on the dotted line of that blank check for the amount of up to (and/or including) their lives. THIS is their first priority. THIS is their promise. They all commit to putting America at the top of the list and their duty to our country comes first and foremost ALWAYS.
It’s CRAZY that our marriages don’t come first. It is a sacrifice as a couple that we are all aware of, whether we acknowledge this or not. Many times, we just know it to be a ‘given’. HOWEVER, just because our country comes first, doesn’t mean that our marriage comes last.
2. Planning? HA!
Most of us learn early on that we cannot surprise our service members with a impromptu weekend getaway, even when we plan it months in advance, the chances of us having to fly solo (almost literally sometimes!) are HUGE. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to cancel plans for mini-vacations or outings because of duty or a short fused TAD/TDY trip. I eventually learned that if we wanted to do something like this, I had to be prepared to go it alone or develop some serious contingency plans.
It’s CRAZY that we can’t even plan a night out sometimes without it becoming a matter of national security! However, once I decided to just roll with it, it made my Marine happy to know that I wasn’t putting my life on hold anymore. He felt much less guilty for having to skip out of the family fun. One thing is for sure though….we always purchase trip insurance now!
3. PDA’s? Not So Fast…
Let’s say you’re at a military ceremony and your service member looks particularly striking in their dress uniform. You are overcome by this need to grab them up and give them a great big smooch. Unfortunately, we can’t just make out with our service member on demand wherever we want anymore. Even holding hands can be considered over-kill at times due to uniform protocol.
Just before my husband graduated from boot camp, I received a letter from him detailing said protocol. He was attempting to explain what was and was not acceptable in terms of affection when we were to see him on family day. I’m sorry….WHAT?
It’s just plain CRAZY! I haven’t seen the love of my life in months, and you’re telling me that we can’t even hold HANDS? I didn’t get it then, but we live and learn, right? Trust me friends…we aren’t the only ones who despise this rule. Our service members are equally as frustrated!
4. The Wedding
Most people get to plan their weddings meticulously and make sure everyone’s schedules align. “It will be perfect” we say, “with roses, and sun and all of our friends and family”! Orrrr, we’ll just go ahead and get hitched at the courthouse and ‘plan’ to have a ‘real wedding’ at a later time (see #2). Oh, and did I mention that the majority of the prep typically lies on our shoulders?
It’s CRAZY, because who would have thought that one of the biggest events of our lives would be contingent upon the needs of military? (See #1). It doesn’t always work out this way, but it does more often than not. My Marine and I got married at the Justice of the Peace during Labor Day weekend in 1999. Our Honeymoon? 3 Days in Vegas in 2009. Our ‘ real ceremony’? An ‘I Do Take 2’ vow renewal in 2011.
Anyone else’s nuptials occur during a 96?
5. Too Much ‘Togetherness’
This should not be confused with having ‘Too Much Time‘ together. There is a distinction. You see, after months and months of living separate lives during a deployment or Geo-Baching, many of us tend to adapt to a certain dynamic in our routines. We become accustomed to doing things our way and on our own timeline. We are so excited when our service members come home, as are they! But as the saying goes, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’. By the end of post-deployment leave, both of us are thinking, “Is it time to go back to work yet?”
It’s CRAZY that we want to be apart again! Well, that’s what most civilian couples might think. We spend all this time preparing for them to come home and they spend all this time dreaming of holding us in their arms and getting back to ‘normal’ (whatever the heck THAT is) again. Why wouldn’t we want to soak up every second? Well, we DO! But reintegration is no joke. The deployment isn’t over after Homecoming. We BOTH need time to adjust. Change is rampant in this lifestyle…but it can still be overwhelming. Even the good stuff!